“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” – Ann Patchett.
There is a lot of debate as to whether writing is in fact a proper job. Some people view writing as more of a hobby than a serious job. Yet a hobby is defined as an activity that is done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. Perhaps the fact that writers generally enjoy writing and write at any time, even during what might generally be considered as leisure time, is what causes the confusion.
I definitely enjoy writing, although it can be as frustrating and trying as much as it can be pleasurable and fulfilling. The fact that I don’t have predefined work hours does not mean I don’t work hard and take pride in my work. I need my writing hours to be flexible so that regardless of the time of day or night when inspiration strikes, I am able to take advantage of it. It is true that I can write anywhere at any time, I view that as a perk of the job. However just like any other job, writing can be very time consuming, tiring and stressful. In Neil Gaiman’s words, “This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
A job is defined as the work that someone does in order to generate an income. Some will argue that you can earn money from a hobby which is definitely true but in my opinion, if it is done as a side-line for supplementary income it remains a hobby, albeit a financially beneficial one. It is not unheard of for people to turn their hobbies into careers. However, I believe in such a case it can no longer be referred to as your hobby but is then your vocation.
Do I put a lot of effort into my books? I definitely do. Do I earn money from my books? Yes I do. So, if one writes full time and earns a living from one’s writing, then it is undoubtedly a job. I firmly believe that writing qualifies as a job, an extremely important one. Without writers there would be no books. Writers are important; as is the job they do.
Some days the job of writing has me physically and mentally exhausted but I feel fulfilled and happy with what I have achieved. On days when I have completed a story even more so. Then there are the days when in addition to feeling physically and mentally exhausted, I am also frustrated because something interrupted my flow of writing, or I got stuck or I am just not happy with what I spent all day writing and know I will have to rewrite it.
Writing is my chosen career, my job but it is so much more than that. It is also a passion, a skill, a talent and a calling. In essence writing is a part of who I am. It is a creative process. There are several different literary genres, all of them bring something different and special to the table. My niche is juvenile fiction. I write Children’s books, picture books to be more precise. However, I don’t just write children’s books to earn a living but I write to live, I mean truly live. A writer needs to write. When a writer isn’t writing then they don’t feel alive. I know I don’t. By writing I am leaving my mark, contributing to society and making a difference. Martin Luther puts it perfectly, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” When we write we open the door to infinite possibilities.
I feel very privileged to write for a living. It is a job and the tools of this trade are words, imagination and perseverance.
“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” J. K. Rowling.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to leave a comment, feedback is very welcome. I would love to hear from you.